Mr. Lions turned-up the rock-n-roll, pulling a silver six-gun from his holster.
The lyrics, “I’m on a highway to hell,” Blared into the silence, like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard.
The vampires were dancing to the music like disco, while Lions shot them, as if they were fish in a barrel. The steam from their expiring bodies, was creating a mist in the air, as thick as fog. Suddenly, the lyrics transitioned into, “Breaking the Law…Breaking the Law.”
It was impossible to see or hear, anything, and the hands kept slapping the sides of the house.
Then flames shot into the field like a dragon.
“He’s got a flamethrower,” I said.
“Left over from the Korean War?” Maddie asked.
“No—I think it’s the one he uses to tar-proof his houses with.”
Cackling was heard over the demonic screams. “It takes a meaner monster,” I said. “And Mr. Lions loves to kill.”
As if the dragon choked, the flames dissipated and the slapping stopped.
“He must’ve killed them all,” I said.
“Then, where is Mr. Lions?” Maddie asked.
In response, there was knocking at the door.
“Should I open it?”
“Vampires don’t knock,” Maddie said.
I opened it.
Lions stood there, in his full glory. I didn’t know, that men reach their peak, at certain times in their lives, and the downhill journey, forces them to walk away from their glory. Lions had it again, like a stunning confidence, and I understood him, for the first time.
“Every last one of those beasts is dead,” he said triumphantly. “Be careful to venture into the mist—you don’t want to breath-in a vampire—it’s worse than smoking—it’ll steal your soul.”
“But you’ve been breathing-in the vampire toxin this whole time.”
“Sure,” Lions said. “But I’ve been wearing my Korean War gas mask. Strange—I think there might be a hole in it.”
At that moment, I noticed his eyes—the windows to his soul, full of hell.
“Quick Maddie, hand me the stake!”
“What are you doing?” Lions asked.
But before he could say another word, I jammed it into his heart, and he keeled over, sinking beneath the soil—a vampire.
“Quick—close the door!” Maddie said. “We don’t want to breathe that stuff in.”
We waited, until daylight. I thought the dawn would never come—and with the sunrise, the fog burned away.
“It’s safe,” I said.
“How are we going to explain this?” Maddie asked.
“What about the cursed gold?”
“We burry it.”
“But it’s gold!” Maddie said.
“I know it’s gold, but it will steal your soul.”
We walked to Brad’s house and buried him with his treasure.
Shortly, thereafter, he went missing, just like the pet posters, and Maddie and I never talked about the vampires, again. I married her, but we left the shame in silence, like buried gold or skeletons in the closet.